So… where were we?

Though I have said this before, time does fly…. it’s been over three months since my last post and lots has been happening since.

The last post on this blog was on the fury over Cyprus’ bailout plan. How has that evolved since March? Well, first they will not touch the “under EUR 100K” savers, which has as a key benefit: it takes people off the streets and gives the impression only the “rich” will get harmed.

And to “block” things, they have implemented “capital controls”, i.e. strict limits on money that can leave the country, which is normally illegal within the Euro-zone!! We’ll see quite some lobbying on that one to see who can get around those rules. Let’s hold tight and see how it will end. My bet is that somehow some of the deposits will in fact leave the country under some strong political interference (guess from who?), then they will not have enough left to fulfill the comitment and then….. a further bailout plan?

So far the program has been bogged-down in paperwork and red-tape and is not getting very far… but guess what? It is bringing to light evidence as to how some in the banks’ senior management and above had their hands in all cookie jars while building up the Cyprus banks to fit their ambitions of becoming “big”….

Interestingly and very “classically”, one can suspect that not seeing the plan implemented as is or at least taking some revenge on the culprits that brought this mess will be high on the agenda of the “special interests” that are likely to take a big hit on their “savings”, and they do have the means to sling some mud around…

Talking about super bail-out plans and their applicability, I can only note the articles on the IMF, where they themselves admit to have “bent or broke its own rules” on the Greek bail-out, where it is now openly admitted that 3 out of 4 rules had been broken…. now this is encouraging, isn’t it? OK, today I shall focus on the good news, so in this case, the good news is that they did respect one of their rules… Seriously! Just for the consistency of my blogs at least, take a look at a previous blog on the competence of the IMF (click here).

Another big deal within the French political landscape was the “lie” by the now ex-Budget-Minister Cahuzac about his Swiss bank account. What happened is that when being accused by the media of having a Swiss bank account, he claimed in an official parliamentary session not to have one and then the evidence of it popped-up… so he lied and is heading for a load of judiciary and fiscal trouble…

Big deal, however the most interesting thing is what he said in his first post-resignation interview, asking what is the biggest lie, the one on his bank account or “lying to the Parliament on order from the President about the reality of France’s economic situation and the fact that the goals fixed in the budgetary plans are unachieveable?”… So good news again: the politicians do know how bad the situation really is! (But still dont have the guts to talk about it!)

Note for the non-French: the myth of the “Swiss bank account” is really big in the French psyche, and has lurred many from France to have one, rather than being a bit smarter and having it in a far more discreet place….

Talking about France, the row with China over Solar Panels that was threatening their wine exports to China seems to have been solved. Of course the EU would claim that the prices of the panels were in fact dumping, which the Chinese denied. I was just wondering how this fits with the fact that the biggest solar panel manufacturer in the world (who is in China) went bust…. We’ll see, but too bad that it was resolved, as there goes the wish of a cheaper and broader supply of French wines within Europe!

Simon Q.

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